Writing … Seriously

It has been a while — since I wrote seriously.

I’m not sure I could remember exactly when it was, but it was not last week, or the week before.

It was before I moved in with Jess, but after I moved into my apartment.

Jesus, I think it was last November … no, that can’t be right.

What was I writing?

Oh right, the massive inescapable tome of my demise, it rolls ever on behind me while I pick out pieces of it and try to put it together in written form. I don’t think anyone sees this happening. It’s a giant sphere of information that started as simple as a foil ball. Now it towers over me – not a boulder, but a planetary satellite – and its rolling. It’s too big to run to the side to avoid. I need speed to escape it, or I need to write it away. Each piece of it I get written down diminishes its size a bit more.

But it gets bigger faster than I make can make it smaller.

Every few months I get fantastically inebriated and I start outlining the entire epic to Jess, and, through only her love for me, she attends rapturously. Every time I retell the story aloud, I realize its become even bigger.

I want to tell you about it, but I can’t. There’s not only too much to tell, but there’s also too much I could give away.

I live in fear each day of seeing a book on a shelf with my character on it, but written by someone else.

With each episode of Fringe I watch I keep thinking “Fuck, are they about to do what I had in mind?”

One day, someone will, and I’m not only running out of time before my epic gets completed by someone else, I’m running out of life.

A decade ago, i hooked up with a screenwriter and we had big dreams and galactic ideas … or at least I did. The other guy just wanted my dick. It’s funny now, but back then it nearly ruined my writing forever. I was in my early 20s, I was hot, fresh, and he was old, predatory and homosexual. I took one positive thing from that entire business relationship:

He said to me, “It’s not about writing the perfect story, it’s about being where you need to be at the right time and being ready.”

And he’s right. It is absolutely true that for every one writer detailing his struggles in the blogosphere, toiling away, and dying for just one chance to get their work published, there are ten shitty authors who were just in the right place at the right time with a handful of utter tripe.

How do I know this? I read. I read everything. Westerns, romances, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, classics, theses, scientific journals, kids books, erotica … really? I’m looking at ten copies of this piece of shit selling for $6.99 and I’ve got three bloggers on my list of favorites that could write icosidodecahedrons around these hacks that would be happy just to see a book with their name on it.

Creativity is not rewarded in our society – repetition is.

Who is the more valuable to our society? A twenty-eight-year-old Account Executive who makes half a million dollars each year finding ways for their company to seduce consumers into buying their products based on the same clever advertising that has been flooding our society since early last century? A forty-year-old Investment Consultant making millions pushing investments in fossil fuels and bashing progressive alternatives so that the oil company he thumps for can avoid having to abandon their cash cow? Or the thirty-two-year-old with a vision, a symphony in his head, a masterpiece in his fingers, an epic in his soul, the future in his eyes?

I have a lot of respect for scientists and the innovators that push the sphere of human knowledge outward a little further every day. That’s progress. Those people and the way their minds work differ very little from the writer, the artist, the musician. You can make your arguments that there are plenty of creative minds in the corporate world, in government, in politics. And there are plenty of corruptible minds in the arts and sciences, no doubt.

But what are we cutting funds to? Are we trimming the growth of the corporate troll? Are we pushing for a leaner more automated governmental body where our representatives aren’t paid not to represent us? Are we actively eliminating the virus of politics, elitist religious sects, and greed in every facet of our lives?

No, we’re laying off teachers, cutting funding to new science initiatives, and teaching our children that smart, visionary, and creative is no way to go through life if you’re not doing it for a political party, a religious organization, or a global corporation.

Writing? … Seriously? I think I just did.

3 thoughts on “Writing … Seriously

  1. This is only speaking to a very small part of what you just said, but I wouldn’t worry about the character part of things. If you’ve written a character well, you won’t see them duplicated anywhere else.

    • This comment coming from the character master even. : ) I’m honestly more worried about plot. Maybe I’m inappropriately concerned about duplicating something that’s been done before. I want to be the first. And I realize you can do what’s been done before validly if you do it better. I want to be first and best, and my minesweeper high score top five just isn’t cutting it anymore.

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